British Values and SMSC
What is SMSC?
It is the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of the children in our school.
This is not a separate subject that is taught explicitly but an aspect of learning that should be present in lessons and behaviour in school. Some lessons lend themselves more easily to direct SMSC development such as PSHE and RE. We also aim to develop SMSC through assemblies, behaviour expectations and our attitudes in school. (Ofsted have provided definitions which are below)
Through our SMSC provision we:
- Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
- Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.
- Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England.
- Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect their own and other cultures.
- Encourage respect for other people.
- Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect on the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
This underpins our ethos when developing SMSC in school. We also ensure opportunities for developing British Values through our SMSC.
How do we ensure there are opportunities for SMSC development?
At Park Lane we recognise that the personal development of children, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve.
We want to give each child the opportunity to explore social and moral issue; develop a sense of social and moral responsibility and promote British Values.
We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:
- Their own values and beliefs
- Their own spiritual awareness
- Their own high standards of personal behaviour
- Their team and collaborative skills
- A positive, caring attitude towards other people
- An understanding of their social and cultural traditions
- An understanding of democratic processes and the law in England
- An appreciation and acceptance of the diversity and richness of their cultures
- Their opportunities to experience other cultures
- Their ability to celebrate each other’s successes
- Their access to a range of educational visits
Our opportunities for SMSC development are continuously changing and evolving with a focus on the following:
- Links with the Wider Community
- Visitors are welcomed into our school
- Links with the local church
- The school supports the work of an international charity supporting children
- Children are taught to appreciate and take responsibility for their local environment
- Regular liaison with local secondary schools to support the primary curriculum and effective transition
Spiritual development is shown by their:
- beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values
- sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible
- use of imagination and creativity in their learning
- willingness to reflect on their experiences.
Please visit our class Twitter pages, @ParkLaneInfants or @ParkLaneJuniors for further examples in school.
How Are We Teaching British Values at Park Lane Primary School?
The DfE have recently reinforced the need
“to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The fundamental principles of British values are implicitly embedded in the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum that is followed at Park Lane.
Democracy: Making Decisions Together
As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness we encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging them to know their views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help.
When appropriate we demonstrate democracy in action, for example, children sharing views on what the theme of their role play area could be with a show of hands.
Also, they learn about the principles of elections, freedom of speech and voting, reflecting the British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action through our school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class and school. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the student council is voted in by their class.
Examples in school
- Child Initiated Activities: the children choose and decide what to do for the day as a group and then throughout the day each group makes decisions about what to try/do next.
- Class treats: children come up with examples of what they want to do as part of their class reward, justifying their choices to others
- Children are encouraged in the hidden curriculum (also taught in assembly and PSHE) to be assertive, speak up for what they believe in and work on taking turns with friends.
- Voting and taking part in school council to improve the school.
Rule of law: understanding rules matter to ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and learn to distinguish right from wrong.
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Park Lane.
Children are taught from an early age about the rules and responsibilities of the school- these are our 3 Diamond Rules which underpin all our learning behaviours.
To encourage and promote good behaviour, attitude and work, there is a reward system which is consistently followed throughout the school. Everyone who works at Park Lane is committed to praising children’s efforts and learning behaviours. This is done through a variety of ways: informal acknowledgement; individual recognition through our bi-weekly achievement assembly; individual, group and class achievements that are earned and; praise for the whole school in assemblies.
Examples in school
- Coaching through behaviour incidents at playtime or lunchtime
- Stories in assembly
- R time and class reward systems
- Computing links- keeping safe online and P.E links to rules in games
- Regular visits to KS2- especially UKS2- from our local PCSO to reinforce roles and responsibilities.
Individual Liberty: Freedom For All
Children develop a positive sense of themselves.
We provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities. Examples of this are through allowing children to take risks in lessons, setting their own levels of challenge and talking about their experiences and learning. We encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions.
Examples in school
- R.E curriculum
- Stories in assembly
- R time and class reward systems
Mutual Respect and Tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
We educate to create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community.
Children’s acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences. We encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions. We promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.
Examples in school
- R.E curriculum and assemblies
- PSHE curriculum
- Visitors to the school e.g. In class
British values are developed in several subjects, across all year groups, within our curriculum (such as: in literacy the children have a mutual respect for each other’s opinions in their persuasive writing; in RE we learn about other religions to secure our understanding and tolerance of other faiths and beliefs and in PSHE we learn about the rule of law, mutual respect and individual liberty).
What is Being Taught in Each Year Group?
There are several specific examples with in the curriculum that is taught in each year group at Park Lane.
We have found this approach to be enriching for all parties and include the following topics over a two year cycle:
In Year 6, pupils undertake a study of World War Two and the impact that the military had in fighting for the British Empire. Year 6 also take a more focused look on the human effect of war on both the front lines and back home for those left behind. In Geography they look at how life changed in our local area during the World War; studying how changes in these times have shaped our British values and society today. Year 5 and 6 also compare today’s society to that of those from the Stone Age onwards and look at how times of change in these periods has helped shape our British values.
Year 6 also have the opportunity to take part in a residential trip where they develop: team skills, tolerance, resilience and independence.
In Year 5, pupils undertake a study of World War Two and the impact on the British Empire. In Geography they look at how life changed in our local area during the World War; studying how changes in these times have shaped our British values and society today. This is linked with the annual Poppy Day celebrations where children purchase poppies and a minute’s silence is held in assemblies for the school. Year 5 and 6 also compare today’s society to that of those from the Stone Age onwards and look at how times of change in these periods has helped shape our British values.
Both year groups have also carried out a Fair Trade project and how it impacts local communities at home and abroad.
In Years 3 and 4, pupils study the effect that different civilisations have had on Britain throughout history. Within the Roman topic, pupils learn how the Empire impacted on Britain and still influences modern society and British values today, e.g. laws and democracy. Through Ancient Greece, pupils look at Greek architecture and how this has developed over time on a local, British and global level.
In Year 2, there is a strong focus on the work of Great fire of London, the development of the Fire brigade and how our values of personal care and safety helped form the other emergency services. We also study our own locality in KS1 to see how the community has grown, changed and developed around the local area.
Year 1 and Reception studies based around ‘Our selves’ look at individual personal development, children’s own family tree and how families can take many forms and how we can show respect and tolerance to others.
Through assemblies, especially in KS2, children are given opportunities to discuss the consequences of countries which are not given that freedom to vote and where there is no democracy.
Famous leaders around the world such as Nelson Mandela and his views on democracy are shared.
Each week an assemblies in KS2 have been based around a British Value to develop the children’s understanding of how they directly relate to them.
On a more general level, the school undertakes daily assemblies which uphold traditional values of empathy, respect and tolerance. During key stage assemblies, teachers and members of the senior leadership team remind children about managing their behaviour and the importance of our school rules. Furthermore, they are taught to believe in themselves and pursue excellence through hard work, within a climate of high expectations and support.
As a whole school we have celebrated Comic Relief days, religious festival days such as the Chinese New Year, as well as in previous years the Golden Jubilee, VE Day and other national events.
We had a VE Day celebration where children learnt about its origins and the impact and changes this had on life in Britain. Each class learnt and performed a dance or song from WW2 to the parents and parents joined the children in class for an activity to further their understanding. All staff were involved and helped in our street party lunch in which children made flags and our Chartwells put on a special lunch for the day.
There is a strong focus on the Olympics and how it continues to pave the way for sporting endeavours which instil and develop life skills such as team work, resilience and respect.
The traditional values are also taught within formal SEAL, PSHE and RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school days. Children in KS1 and KS2 annually take part in the school council election process and the children elected form a ‘School Council’. The School Council brings the voice of the pupils to the SLT team and school governors, their ideas and ‘wishes’ are regularly reviewed and acted upon.